THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has been ordered to launch a parallel investigation into the alleged selling of government-procured COVID-19 vaccines, and vaccination slots as well.
The investigation was upon the request of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said in a message on Monday.
NBI is an attached agency of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
“I have already given verbal instructions last Friday to NBI acting chief Eric Distor to order its Cybercrime Division and other relevant units to immediately investigate the alleged illegal sale of anti-Covid 19 vaccines and/or vaccination slots, upon the request of MMDA chair Benhur Abalos, ” Guevarra said.
According to Abalos, individuals who offer vaccine slots for a fee to netizens could be slapped with estafa or direct bribery charges, among others.
Abalos on Monday warned that those who bought the vaccine slots may also be held criminally liable.
“Doon sa mga pribado na gustong magpabakuna, madedemanda din siya, ” he said. “They are a principal by inducement.”
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año has previously directed Joint Task Force COVID Shield to determine whether the sale of vaccination slots is merely a scam or actually going on.
The DILG expressed alarm over reports that vaccination slots sold online fetch as much as P12,000.